General Guidelines in Marriage License Application

In order to get married, you need to apply and obtain a marriage license. This is a very important legal necessity that you don't want to overlook in your wedding planning.

If you are getting married in the United States, keep in mind that the law in every state varies. You should check with your city's marriage bureau at your clerk of court's office to find out what your local rules are.

Proof of identification. Proof of identification like birth certificates, driver's license, passport, social security number and other official documents need to be furnished.

Fee. A nominal fee is required when applying for your certificate. Bring cash. No extensions or refunds are made once the license is issued.

Application requirement. Both parties must be physically present when applying. Plan on bringing a witness.

Previous marriage documents. If previously married, certain information is needed in the application process. Applicants who have been previously married must provide documents concerning the dissolution of the most recent marriage. If widowed, death certificate of deceased spouse is needed.

Blood tests. Some states require blood tests, others do not. Keep this in mind when applying since test results can take a while to come back.

Legal Age. Age requirements differ by states. Most states require that a couple be 18 years old in order to marry without parental permission. If under 18, consent of a parent or guardian is needed.

Validity. Apply at least one month before the wedding date. In some states, the licenses do expire, if you don't get married within a few months. In Pennsylvania, the certificate is only valid for 60 days.

Click here for more detailed information in obtaining a marriage license in your state.

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